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/ 7 August 2013

Schools and their local Christian community

Capital Vision 2020 expresses our determination to double the number of young people actively involved in our churches. One of the biggest sources of encouragement we have towards achieving this is that we have 55,000 young people as pupils and students in our schools across the Diocese. This not only gives us the opportunity to encourage them all into a life of Christian faith but also through them to reach out to the families and communities of which they are part. Our mission to schools and through schools – our own and others – is very much at the sharp end of or mission opportunity in London.

There is work for us all to do in this. We need to renew our understanding of why the Church of England is so heavily committed to the part it plays in publicly-funded education, what our schools should stand for and what makes them distinctive. The work of School Chaplains is very effective in this and we must expand that provision and develop a coherent model for that work and attract high quality people into it. The Church itself needs to re-learn how to relate to its schools, and others, and there needs to be a firmer handshake between local leadership in both church and school. This has training implications for clergy, teachers and – very importantly – the new foundation governors we must recruit for our expanding family of schools.

Churches and schools seek to build community: together, in renewed and deepened understanding of the neighbourhoods they serve, and having given fresh consideration to how buildings and facilities can be used, their combined impact on community development will be of a far greater scale.

Do you have some ideas? Want to get involved? Got a story about how church and school are strengthening links in your local community. Email capitalvision2020@nulllondon.anglican.org or get in touch with the Archdeacon of Middlesex.

Contributed by The Ven Stephan Welch

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